Hippie is right: Along with the Yeasayer cut, the reworkings of tunes by Patti Smith and Six Organs of Admittance maintain a strong nature-child vibe, seemingly appropriate less for a strobelit urban club than for a circle of bodies swaying loosely around a star-sheltered campfire. Other cuts are more driving: The opener, an edit of Soft Circle's "Earthed," rides a dark, spacey and hypnotic post-punk groove, the EP's real standout. Equally banging is the version here of "A Visit from Drum" by Liars. The original combines a slow, cavernous drum riff with Angus Andrew's signature ominous falsetto. Pocketknife's beef-up tosses on an extra snare and cranks the tune from a spooky warning into a stomping attack.
Despite the good stuff, there are a couple of throwaways. The edit of Battles' "Atlas" turns it into a pumpin' Jock Jam accenting both the tune's incessant beats and its slightly annoying chipmunk vocals. This effectively takes a pleasantly goofy, groovy post-rock number and balloons it into a stadium-sized Gary Glitter-type cartoon, and while this may have been a crowdpleaser if you dropped it sometime last year when the Battles record came out, by now it's certainly shed some of its charm. The B-side closer marries Silver Apples' "Oscillations" to a Liquid Liquid groove, which is enough of an easy fit that you might not realize it's a mash-up. This means that while it's a seamless re-stitch, it doesn't necessarily yield solid evidence that welding the two tunes together produces something new and compelling.
As you might derive from the tracklisting, Cousin Cole & Pocketknife's efforts are more directed towards open-minded rock fans than to hardcore clubbers or electronic music purists. And while DJ edits of recent Pitchfork hits may strike some as merely trendy, they carry out the task of keeping the lines of communication open between genres. If techno is supposed to be future music, it can be important to realize that sometimes its innovations can appear in unexpected places.
Thu / 27 Nov 2008
01. Soft Circle - Earthed (Pocketknife's Terra Cotta Remix)
02. Battles - Atlas (Cousin Cole's Battle Cry Remix)
03. Patti Smith - Ghost Dance (Pocketknife's Arms Out Remix)
04. Liars - A Visit from Drum (Pocketknife's Grosser Kessel Remix)
05. Yeasayer - Sunrise (Pocketknife's Rise And $hine Remix)
06. Six Organs Of Admittance - Tukulti Will Burn (Pocketknife's Uprising Remix)
07. Silver Apples - Oscillations (Cousin Cole's Edit)